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We Found It – Commodities in the Kitchen

At IBVI, it’s our mission to provide meaningful employment to people who are blind and visually impaired and supply our military and government partners with quality products. While our base supply centers feature a wide array of products manufactured and supplied by IBVI, it’s our goal to provide “endless possibilities” to our customers, going above and beyond to serve them.

In this brand new blog series, “We Found It,” we’re going to be telling stories about some of the most unique items that IBVI went the extra mile to supply. This week we recall some of our greatest order fulfillments related to food, including frozen treats for firefighters and embroidered coats for the Commander-in-ch(i)ef.

Ice cream for fire crusaders

One of our favorite stories to tell is the time we sourced frosty treats for firefighters. The Fort Detrick Fire Department came to us looking for an ice cream machine as a way to treat their hard working volunteer firefighter force. Though it’s not an item we typically source, we knew we needed to be the ones to help bring this frozen dairy dream to life. We truly couldn’t think of a more fitting treat to be waiting back at the fire station after a hot and hard earned job.

Delivering produce in a downpour

Consistent and dedicated customer service is one of our key values at IBVI because we understand that going above and beyond to fulfill orders helps create trust and lasting relationships. One time, supplying two pallets of assorted produce did just that. A medical research base came to us in a bind after having completely run out of produce to feed their many varieties of lab animals and The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases was unable to help. Our team quickly set up a local grocery market as a new vendor and picked up two pallets of fruits and vegetables.

Tim Selby, a BSC East Regional Store Manager, recalls his assistant manager and himself loading up their delivery truck in a massive rainstorm before hand delivering the order to the lab. “We were absolutely soaked when the job was done, but that job created so many in-roads to procure a number of products for this government agency down the road.”

Chef Coats for Camp David

While all of our customers and order fulfillments are equally important, it doesn’t get much more high profile than providing kitchen garb to the President of the United States. This was another time-sensitive and urgent order, except this time we were tasked with providing custom embroidered chef coats and berets – for a cooking competition at the president’s Camp David retreat in Maryland. We were able to source the chef coats from one of our favorite vendors, Bottom Line, and quickly got them embroidered locally before shipping them off. We had our fingers crossed, secretly hoping for an invite to participate in a cookoff against the President of the United States, but helping supply these coats was enough of a win for us.

Over the years, we’ve figured out very quickly that it’s the stories like these–doing everything we can to provide the broadest possible range of products–that fosters lasting and trusting relationships with our partners. At IBVI, we’ve dedicated ourselves to source anything under the sun for our customers, always providing quick turnaround times on quotes and orders while taking any chance we can to highlight our brilliant employees. Without our kind and dedicated staff, none of these extraordinary orders would have been possible.


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